Posted: 19/06/2016 at 14:08
Back to the classic distance of 9 miles for this one. Part of the Warwickshire road Race League but not run it since 2013 due to pregnancy and injury. Lou didn't fancy it with Pitchcroft so close so I thought I'd go and get some points. Little expectation really since raced a hard 10k last week and who knows what their 9 mile PB is anyway? Plus spent a bit of yesterday feeling nauseous and with a bit of a dodgy tummy (worlds mildest tummy bug I think as felt fine by the evening). It's quite undulating around leafy country lanes and a lap of a lake so I decided to try and pace around 6:50 to begin with and maybe pick up the pace to 6:40 towards the end.
Set off with a couple of girls from my club (both better than me - one is the small, speedy one encountered on this thread before. The other is small and speedy and runs for England in 100km races. But neither are fully fit at the moment). So decided early on to pull away. Two ladies came past who I know are super-speedy. No chance there. And then saw two unattached ladies, one in blue, the other in pink up ahead. Hmm, possible targets.
First mile is a bit downhill and came out in 6:39. Felt hot and a bit of a struggle really but thought I'd press on. Next a bit uphill in 6:55. Realised it was so up and down that pace was a bit meaningless (especially as i felt like it was hard work already!) and I'd focus on catching the next girl. At this point blue was in front, pink ahead of her. Both looking quite strong so settled in. About half way I noticed that blue had overtaken pink. Now I wondered if she was maybe slowing a bit. My ears pricked up then and started trying to reel her in. I sat a little way behind her for a while waiting to compose myself a bit as I kept crossing the line into breathing a bit too hard. We came up to a bit of downhill and here was the moment. I pushed on, passing her decisively with a cheery well done and a bit of breath holding and then kept going until I was round a corner and could do a bit of gasping.
Next target was blue. A marshall called out that I was now 4th lady. 3rd just up ahead. Well, I tried. I pushed as much as i could and ate into the gap a bit. We had a gap of maybe 15 seconds going into a lap of the field. I sprinted my hardest but she was too far ahead. I could see the clock counting and to my amazement it was beneath one hour. So I pushed to make sure I got there. Garmin says 59.43, average pace of 6:46ish? 4th lady but 1st V35 so another prize for the TTT. We just missed out on the team prize on a technicality over whether you count total position or ladies position. I'm not bothered though, I can buy my own Echo Falls if I want it.
Really enjoyed it, felt like a proper race. And showed me even though I felt a bit crappy after a couple of miles I could still keep working hard to the end. Would have been good to have caught Blue but I tried my best.